Atwoli Complains as Uhuru Handlers Drop Him From List of Speakers

  • COTU Boss, Francis Atwoli addresses a crowd in a previous event.
    COTU Boss, Francis Atwoli addresses a crowd in a previous event.
    People Daily
  • Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli has complained to President Uhuru Kenyatta over frustrations from senior government officials.

    Speaking at the launch of the Universal Health Care (UHC) in Mombasa County on Monday, February 7, he stated that there were senior officials from Uhuru's office who were trying to frustrate his efforts to protect workers' money at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

    Additionally, he stated that COTU's nominee to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board had not been gazetted despite several attempts to have a workers' representative at the critical institution. 

    NSSF building in Nairobi's Upper Hill.
    NSSF building in Nairobi's Upper Hill.

    He cited the protocol at the Mombasa event where he was not listed as a speaker but was given a chance at the intervention of President Kenyatta.

    "If you look at the program here, I'm not on the list of speakers. There are people in your government who don't believe that workers have a say on how their money is used. We nominated our nominee to the NSSF board. Somebody in your office has refused to gazette this nominee. This is unfair to workers.

    "They are saying that the CS must nominate for us and we all know that ministers change over time. I joined the NSSF board when it had a portfolio of Ksh20 billion and they now have over Ksh120 million of workers' money," he stated.

    Additionally, he castigated Deputy President William Ruto for disrespecting him stating that he was old enough to become his father.

    He stated that the DP was born at a time when he was done with high school and was ready to be employed by the government.

    "In 1966, I was finishing my Form Four and at that time we were full adults. After six months I was employed when he was only six months old. If I had met his mother, I would have been the father," he stated amid uproar from the crowd. 

    He reiterated that the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga would become the president in the August polls further asking Uhuru to lead the Central Kenya block to vote for the  Azimio la Umoja candidate.

    On his part, Uhuru hit out at his deputy and his troops for constantly attacking him stating that it was evident that he was a force to reckon with.

    The Head of State promised Ruto a showdown during the August 9 polls adding that the time of politics had come.

    "I told them to focus on development first and I was told that I do not have the powers to do so. They stated that they wanted to tangatanga and I said that it was fine.

    "The time for politics has come and you will listen to us. Now we have those who started early and those of us who have just begun. I told them that this was a marathon," he stated.

    President Uhuru attends a virtual meeting on climate change
    President Uhuru attends a virtual meeting on climate change.